Despite my season coming to a premature end it feels like I’ve been busier than ever of late. I didn’t get the chance to watch Taz racing in Moto 2 during the season as most of the dates clashed, so I decided to jump on a plane and catch the end of his flyaway rounds with a trip to Sepang in Malaysia. Although the flyaway races involve a lot of travelling they’re really good fun for all of the teams because there’s a couple of days downtime that everyone gets to spend socialising away from the stressful environment of a race circuit.
The first day I managed to venture into Kuala Lumpur for a spot of sightseeing with Taz and John Mcphee, and the second day was mostly spent trackside, getting Taz’s kit organised for the weekend. Everything was going to plan, right up until the point that it wasn’t. We were woken up by Taz’s mechanic in the early hours of Friday morning to the tragic news that his team manager Stefan Kiefer, had died suddenly in the night.
Even at the time of writing it’s still very hard to get my head around it, and it goes without saying that everyone was devastated. He was one of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve met through racing and he will be sadly missed, the world over. The team unanimously decided not to continue racing that weekend, but we stayed to watch the rest of the Grand Prix action and then travelled home on the Sunday night.
After Malaysia I got home and continued with the physiotherapy on my broken shoulder, which has been giving me grief since my face-planting incident at Assen. It hit me hard, literally, but less hard than the news I was given by Hawk Racing. I was called into a meeting to discuss next year and unfortunately was told the team was only having two riders next season… and I wasn’t one of them. It came as a massive shock; I had hoped pulling off some decent results in 2017 was going to be enough to secure my ride.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world in BSB because there are a lot of very good riders and not enough seats for everyone. There’s no point in getting angry or frustrated with the situation because it is what it is, and I genuinely wish the guys all the best for 2018. They’ve got two fantastic riders lined-up for next season and I know they’ll do a great job for Hawk. This year’s been difficult for me, what with having to develop a brand new bike and adapt from the rigours of Superstock 1000 to ways of superbike riding. On reflection, it’s not been a terrible year, especially so as I beat my ex-world champion team mate on numerous occasions, and I battled injury and dug deep to take fifth place at Knockhill and seventh at Silverstone. A real fire has now been lit inside me though.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of people doubting you and I really do thrive off it. I know what I’m capable of and I know that given half a chance to get on a decent bike in 2018, I’ll be able to show the paddock what this underdog is capable of. But that’s enough of that fighting talk. In the meantime, thanks all who’ve supported me and I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Let’s make it a good one.
Taylor headed to Malaysiatosupport brotherTaz,whose team boss passed away. Howdoyou getthisin your hand luggage?
Everything seems big to Taz.